Which Is Better: New Media Marketing Or Old School Internet Marketing?

By Yaro Starak
52 Comments

I received an email recently from one my newsletter subscribers named Zsolt, who is from Hungary.

He had a really great question regarding what business models still work online. Specifically he was referring to the more social web 2.0 world of blogging, podcasting and social media, versus traditional internet marketing formats.

This is the part of the message Zsolt sent me that covers his question (republished with permission) –

Over the past years I have played with blogging and even had some success with an astronomy video blog. But these experiences tought me one thing: blogging is not really my thing. I just could not keep posting on a regular basis. Blogging is a marathon, a long term commitment to putting out great content and build a loyal following over several months, maybe even years. It’s just not my cup of tea. I am not good at it.

I have been pulled more to the “traditional” IM route. You know, setting up optin pages, sales funnels, creating automated systems to sell online courses. I do like to teach, creating educational materials, and I do love setting up systems and automating the process. But the web is full of people saying how this day and age traditional internet marketing is dying and you need to be social, be everywhere, blog, build a following on FB, etc. In other words, you need to put yourself out every single day and create content day in and out on various social platforms. If you don’t do it, you won’t survive for long. At least, this is the impression I get.

So I guess my question is: what’s your take on this? Am I doomed if I try to build automated sales funnels around my courses (my niche is positive psychology and well-being) without building an authority blog and a following first? As I look around on the web, many marketers still follow this approach (like Eban Pagan, Jeff Walker, Rich Scheffren, etc). Their approach resonates with me more than the “social, web 2.0 or whatever” approach. But I constantly doubt myself. Driving paid traffic to a squeeze page then following-up with solid content, video series, webinars and yes, a pitch too at the end is still a viable approach these days?

Zsolt

This is such a good question I felt I had to reply using a blog article so more people can benefit from the discussion.

Having straddled the worlds of blogging and “traditional” internet marketing for years (it was part of my original positioning strategy online), I have a strong understanding of the two different models.

Just recently I reflected on what model I want to follow as I re-launch the premium training arm of my business. This is of particular interest because as I observe my peers from both blogging and internet marketing, I see one group earning a lot more money than the other, yet often working less.

This has been the case since the very beginning when I started blogging and studying internet marketing. The two worlds have certainly merged in recent years, however it does appear, as Zsolt talks about, that the social model requires a lot more work than the internet marketing model, yet most of the internet marketers I know are millionaires, where the pure social content people are not.

What Is The Difference?

As I see it, the key differences between the social content authority model vs traditional internet marketing, are –

Social Authority Model

People who blog or podcast or use video, what David Siteman Garland calls a “mediapreneur”, focus on a content hub. That hub might be your blog, or your YouTube channel, or your Facebook page. Your hub is then extended using other kinds of social and new media to bring back traffic.

Your focus is on distributing content on various channels and then leveraging your audience for income streams that traditionally have been advertising or service-delivery focused. However in more recent years product creation has become part of the monetization strategy too.

Traditional Internet Marketing

Internet marketers on the other hand focus on landing pages with optin forms, where they invite people on to an email newsletter, then deliver content through that medium. Using the list as the relationship building tool, the internet marketer then sells products, usually information products they have created or affiliate products from other people.

Although nowadays it’s common for these two worlds to overlap, you can still sense there is a distinct difference between an “internet marketer” and an online media publisher.

Baggage

When you listen to some of the more social-media focused entrepreneurs, especially those who started in the last five years or less, you can hear the disdain they feel for the “internet marketers”. They try very hard to avoid the label of internet marketer because of the baggage the term comes with.

The baggage, to put it simply, mostly comes from the copy – the words – used to sell. In fact you might say that it’s really copywriters who are to blame more than anyone else for the poor reputation.

Claims of instant riches, false limited offers, packages valued at tens of thousands of dollars available for a special price of only $7 – it all becomes a bit much very quickly.

Now without getting into a debate on the merits of copywriting spin and how much it impacts conversion (I’ve written about this before), it’s safe to say that we all have a tolerance level for what we consider too much hype.

As a result of what kind of impression we want to make and what we personally deem too hypey, we decide what kind of language to use and what kind of offers to make when we sell our products.

On several occasions over the years after launching products, I’ve received emails – even sometimes on the same day – that have presented polar opposite views of the language style I just used to sell with.

One person would accuse me of being too hypey, state they could never trust me because my sales page looks like it was written by a snake oil salesman.

Then another person would email me praising the lack of hype in my language. How refreshing it was to find such a down-to-earth marketer.

If I focused purely on profit then I should only worry about conversion when it comes to the language I use. However there’s more to it than just that.

Your personal brand matters. How you are perceived impacts the kind of reputation you have. Reputation and relationships matter for conversion too, even more so than the copy on your sales page in my opinion.

The best path forward is to stick to whatever your natural style is. You will attract people who like your style, and people who do not will leave. Assuming enough people like you, you will have a business.

Conversion Blogging

I’ve never had a problem with being called an internet marketer. This is probably because I find internet marketing very effective. I’ve learned some very powerful ideas from other internet marketers.

That being said, I was a blogger first, before I began to implement internet marketing techniques.

When I published my “Conversion Blogging” video back in 2008 I felt it represented well the two worlds I had operated in as a person who grew up blogging, and later applied internet marketing to the mix.

Conversion Blogging Video

Nowadays it’s nothing revolutionary, but when I started out it was rare to find someone who used a blog and then drove traffic to landing pages, used email marketing and sold products using sales pages.

Back then the blogging ethos was grow your traffic, increase your pageviews and use adsense to make money. There’s nothing wrong with that model and advertising of course still works well, but I did a lot better including internet marketing in the mix.

What I find particularly fascinating, and what the question presented by Zsolt at the start of this article alluded to, is the distinct differences still present today between the two groups.

Adam Short Vs Pat Flynn

One of the best ways I can illustrate the differences between a social content marketer and a direct response internet marketer is to take a look at two people I admire and respect online, who use different models but actually teach the same thing (or at least almost the same).

Adam Short Vs Pat Flynn

Adam Short is the man behind Niche Profit Classroom (NPC), a training membership site that teaches you how to build niche sites that can make anywhere from a few hundred dollars a month, to a few thousand. You follow the system and keep building sites until you make enough money to meet your goals.

I’ve promoted Adam on EJ several times over the past five years. His NPC program, in terms of income generated, is the most successful affiliate product I have ever recommended.

Pat Flynn needs no introduction. Although Pat is known for many things, it’s safe to say that his primary audience have the same goal as Adam’s – he teaches you how to build profitable niche websites. People follow Pat because they want to set up their own near-passive income website.

Chances are you have heard of Pat, but not necessarily of Adam. Pat, a proponent of the “be-everywhere” formula uses all top forms of social media marketing and content marketing, including a blog, podcast, youtube, facebook, twitter and various other sites.

Adam may have a presence using these tools, but he is hardly prolific on them. His main focus has been running webinars for affiliates, who send him traffic to an optin form. He then runs the webinar, which is 90% teaching content, followed by an offer to join his NPC program.

It’s impossible for me to know who works harder out of these two guys, but I’m fairly confident simply because of the breadth of tools that Pat makes use of that he puts in more hours. Adam is not not nearly as famous and spends his time working his niche sites, his one training program and delivering webinars for affiliates.

Adam doesn’t need to publish a super-fresh blog or do regular podcasts or maintain a social presence. He has several thousand paying members in his program and keeps new ones coming in thanks to affiliate marketing (and probably other methods I do not know about).

Pat works hard to establish a strong personal brand. He’s branched out to books and speaking gigs, turning into a true media personality.

Now you might say these two guys have different goals. I don’t think Pat does as much as he does just to make money. He does it because he loves it and is driven to build as big a profile as he can.

Adam might not want to be as well known publicly, or to produce so much content on so many different channels, so focuses on his core product funnel.

Who Makes More Money?

I can’t be certain who makes more money, but of course we do know that Pat publishes his monthly income reports, so assuming we rely on those we have a pretty good idea how much he is making. Generally he earns around $50K to $60K in profit a month, so probably around half a million dollars a year or more.

That’s some good coin for sure.

Adam doesn’t publish his numbers as openly as Pat, but I do know some details from back when I was promoting him. NPC had a consistent 3,000 to as many as 5,000 active paying members.

The NPC product was about $67 a month back then, so if we take the lower number of 3,000 active members, that’s about $200K a month. Up to half of that is going to go out to affiliates, leaving $100K. There are expenses to take out of that money, but also other income streams to add to it as Adam did affiliate marketing and I believe had upsell products too, not mention his own niche sites that at one stage he claimed were making $90K a month too (that was a long time ago though!).

My educated guess is that Adam’s company takes home over a million a year in profit, at least it was a few years ago. As I stated, these are all best guesses, and I have no idea how well Adam is doing today, so don’t take this as factual. I’m no doubt wrong about all the numbers I have quoted, but at least we have a ballpark area to play with.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s say Adam takes home about double what Pat does. I suspect he works about half as hard too.

Does that make Adam, the “internet marketer”, the winner against Pat the “social content marketer”?

Maybe. There are way too many variables at play to really do a straight comparison. However, the fact they are effectively teaching people how to get the same outcome using the same vehicle (niche sites) makes this a compelling comparison.

What Should You Do?

What I find valuable about doing this kind of comparison is to look at the models other people are using, what kind of money they are making and what tasks they are performing to earn that money.

There really is no right or wrong way, only options.

Do you want to be more like Pat, or Adam, or Neil Patel, Darren Rowse, or Brian Clark, or Eben Pagan, Rich Schefren, or Chris Guillebeau, Marie Forleo or Katie Frieling, or Amy Porterfield, or any of the other countless internet marketers, bloggers and social media experts out there.

Of course you can’t “be” one of these people, but you can model them. You can take what you like about what they do, implement their systems, use the same tools as they do and fuse that with your own unique way of doing things.

I find this incredibly valuable because it helps me to figure out what model to use to make a certain amount of money (if you don’t have a model that can make the kind of money you want then you’re just silly). I also get excited about doing certain things and not others, so seeing how I could personally fit in is very helpful.

I hate keyword research and building niche sites that I don’t care about the subject matter, so I’m not going to follow Pat or Adam in terms of their core teaching system. However I will borrow from both guys when it comes to selling my own products or building my blog.

The smart thing you can do is cherry pick ideas from others and focus on the methods you like the most. Combine your personal strengths with a business model that can deliver good leverage, and get busy.

What Is Your Strategy?

As I was putting together this article I reflected back over the last 12 years I spent making money using all kinds of different online methods.

One thing that stood out was how much of a difference strategy makes when it comes to choosing what you do online. Each technique can be used in different ways depending on the strategy you are following, and the outcomes can be dramatically different as a result.

A social content marketer thinks differently to an internet marketer. They enjoy doing different jobs, which is why they follow different models.

To help clarify what I mean, here are some examples of techniques and how you might choose to use them depending on what kind of online marketer you are.

Advertising

Advertising is a very common method to earn money online with. The potential problem with it is you send people away from your site. It seems strange to spend all this time generating traffic only to send it somewhere else, but that’s actually a very common business model.

You might call it being the middleman for attention. You get paid to attract traffic and take a cut to send it somewhere else.

Potentially you can earn a lot more if you capture that attention and use it to sell your own products and services. The connection is smoother – come to my site, learn about me, then buy my products. It’s a walled garden.

If you follow a product funnel model this makes sense, however you might not want to create products and deal with everything that comes with it. Hence you prefer the ease of advertising income and focus on giving your content away for free on a blog or other social platforms.

Some industries are not great for products, so advertising is the best option in this case as well.

Conversion Vs Content

This is an interesting distinction. You might say that traditional internet marketers are much more focused on conversion than social content marketers.

A conversion person is very different from a content creator. They both might use the same tools, but they enjoy different aspects.

One might hate writing an article, but loves testing the headline on their landing page. Testing might be a pain for a blogger, but they love writing articles and seeing how much traffic and social shares they attract.

Both people can do well online, but its critical you know what you are good at or what you have the motivation to become good at, and how that connects with the strategy you are following.

Leverage

I recently wrote about leverage and how absolutely vital it is if you want to make significant income online.

In my experience having a product funnel is a much higher form of leverage than having a large social following. A person with a list of 1,000 buyers on an email newsletter can make so much more money than a person with 10,000 followers on social media.

While it might not always be the case, based on my observations traditional internet marketers, because of their focus on conversion and finding buyers, can earn a lot more money from a much smaller audience.

The monetization method plays a part here too. You get a lot more leverage when you are selling people $1,000 products compared to getting paid ten cents when a person clicks an ad.

Of course as I mentioned before, not everyone wants to focus on a product funnel. Just because one path appears easier to gain leverage from, if you hate the work required to make it work, it’s not going to work for you.

Sometimes the leverage comes from your enthusiasm for what you are doing.

Email Newsletter Vs Blog

This last comparison is very, very interesting.

I feel confident saying that in almost all situations an email list will convert better than a blog if you want to sell something.

To be fair, a blog isn’t as direct a response mechanism because people do not open up blogs every day the way they do email. Email can’t be “found” on the internet by search engines the way a blog can. The content needs to appear on a website, like a blog, for it to be discoverable by new people.

You might say blogging is a front-end vehicle to attract prospects, where an email list is the next level up, the tool you use to convert those prospects into buyers.

I’ve been a proponent of the synergy between these two tools for years. However I do find it very interesting to see guys like Eben Pagan do very very well focusing on email without really having any blog component.

If you take Eben’s most successful company, his Double Your Dating business, you will find a fairly static content website, backed up by one massive long email autoresponder sequence.

His success comes from the list, which grows using various channels like affiliates and paid advertising. If he was using a blog instead of an email list to deliver his content, I doubt he would do as well as he does.

The Lines Are Blurred But There Are Clear Winners

When I wrote back privately via email to respond to Zsolt from Hungary, I said he shouldn’t worry if he doesn’t like blogging or doesn’t want to be found everywhere online and have a massive social following.

If he wants to focus on traditional internet marketing using opt-in pages to build a list, then sell his training products via email, that can work very well still.

In fact it might actually be the highest leveraged path available for an internet marketing training business.

The lines have blurred between internet marketing and social content marketing for sure, but the fundamentals haven’t changed.

An email list still converts best. Products still make you the most money if you have a small audience. Conversion still matters most when it comes to profits.

If you want to factor in fame, influence, cult of personality and the power of the social sphere for viral distribution of ideas, then for sure, social content marketing is powerful.

At the end of the day however, a business is driven by profit, so if you don’t make sales it doesn’t matter how many people read your article or know your name.

There are plenty of marketers out there right now who no one has heard of, who may not even have a Facebook account or have made a youtube video or ever written a blog post, yet make huge amounts of money online.

All they do is find buyers, build relationships via email and then sell products that meet people’s needs and wants. It’s as simple as that.

Of course, if you happen to like blogging, or video, or podcasting, or spending time connecting on Facebook, or tweeting all day long, these can be amazing marketing tools as well. You always have options when it comes to how you build your audience.

Yaro Starak
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About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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52 Comments

  • Yaro, you’re indeed a teacher. Like my blog, I deliberately stop posting content for about 2months now to allow me figure out what work best for me. I also read a post from Pat Flyn today on how to start a blog and starts gaining followers on launching of your blog. Pat pointed out some of the mistates he made ealier on starting his blog and want those starting their blog to learn how to avoid such mistakes. I think am begining to know how to approach my blog to get the most out of it and importantly giving my followers what they wants. Thanks so much for being there for most of us.

    • Hi Alphonsus,

      Thank you, I do like to teach.

      I read Pat’s blog post too, and it reminds me of some of the contnet I wrote about five years ago regarding what goes into a “launch” of a blog. Darren Rowse also wrote some similar content too if I recall.

      My focus back then was on when is the right time to get out there and tell people about your blog. First I suggest people make sure there is enough content in it, plus a mechanism like an email newsletter to keep people connected with you once you do start promoting your blog.

      I used to talk about making sure you have at least ten posts in your blog so there is something to dig into when a first time visitor comes by that makes them want to read further.

      Whatever the case, the most important thing is always to be creating content and using it to connect and help people. If you do that well, you will have plenty of options.

      Yaro

  • Nice Comparison between Adams and Pat, even though Adams makes More, i think ii will go the Fly’s Way, Social media is Growing, and it as huge Potential. Thanks Yaro

  • Very well put article, Yaro. I find it really simple to read and comprehensive.

    Although money can be a very strong pull for anyone considering options, it will still boil down to what suits you as a person and where you are good at.

    Not everyone can do it like Pat, or Adam. No matter how much one wants to earn like Adam, his future relies on what his goals are, and his capacity in reaching those goals.

    What if he’s better at social content marketing than at internet marketing? Realistic self-assessment is so important before deciding on which is better.

    • Exactly Riza, I’m beginning to believe that strengths assessment is more important than anything else when it comes to starting your own business, even more important than topic selection or business model.

      Yaro

      • Such a great article Yaro. I think you’re spot on in your comment to Riza: “I’m beginning to believe that strengths assessment is more important than anything else when it comes to starting your own business, even more important than topic selection or business model.”

        I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve worked with people who have spent a lot of time, money and emotional energy building an online business and it just hasn’t worked for them. The frustrating part is they have learnt from and implemented models from great mentors who have shown the model works. They have done their market research etc and ticked all the boxes, so their business should have worked for them and it hasn’t. They feel like a total failure.

        When we take the time to do a strengths assessment, like you say, the light bulb comes on. Very often they only need to make tweaks to their strategy to allow them to include methods that build on their strengths and passions and that energise them. Then they don’t have to push so hard to make it work for them.

        That’s something I’ve always admired about your approach to business Yaro. You seem to observe what works for others, then implement and review. Then importantly observe what works not just for your profit goals but also your soul. I reckon we need a way to measure profit and loss in a business in terms of money as well as personal fulfilment. The perfect business model would have a healthy profit for both measures.

        • Hey Janet, good to hear from you and thank you, I am glad we agree on the strengths aspect of online business.

          I think for most people at the start priorities are focused on making money first. We can look at things like personal fulfilment once we pay our bills :-)

          Yaro

  • New media marketing seems interesting. Mostly the social marketing. I like it a lot. But still I wonder why the social bookmarking sites are killed?

    • That is a good question Nikhil. I don’t personally use any social bookmarking sites, but maybe you do so you know which ones are still providing value.

      Yaro

  • A strong email marketing list is a good foundation. Many marketers use social media to gather more info about their target market then adjust their offerings accordingly. Both can play a role in future success.

  • Zsolt

    Hello Yaro,

    Zsolt here. Wow! Such a great informative and eye-opening article. I’ve never dreamed that my original question would make you think about this topic hard and put together such a useful blogpost. Thanks!

    Yes, both paths (traditional and social) can work very well and can be very profitable, but one needs to have a clear and precise insight about his/her own strengths, passions, and be able to realisticly assess his/her skills, abilities and limits. Your post helps me evaluate my own strengths and skills better, and makes me feel OK for not wanting to go down the social/blogging path, even though it seems like “social” is all the rage nowadays.

    I guess beacause we hear a lot more about folks like Pat or Darren (since they are highly active on social platforms) in comparision to more “under the radar” marketers like Adam, we tend to believe that the best way to run an online business today is the go all the way social, blogging, podcasting, facebooking, youtubing (is that a word?), etc. Yes, it’s a great way to build a following and a business ultimately IF you are the kind of person who really enjoys these activities and is really good at them.

    For me, I am not that kind of person. I just don’t have those kinds of strenghts and skills and personality. The “traditional” direct response path built upon a well thought-out and tested sales funnel and email sequence is a much more attractive way for me, and one that I actually enjoy doing much more than putting myself out there on several social platforms day in and day out.

    Thank you Yaro for reassuring me that I am not an extinct species yet. :)

    • The funny thing Zsolt is I actually already had a note in evernote in my future article topic notebook to write about the difference between the two types of marketing.

      When you sent that question in it seemed logical that it was time to write that article. Having your very well articulated question just made it that much more easier to start.

      I could write more about this subject. I had notes down to go back and compare my own growth online against Darren Rowse and Brian Clark, two guys I “grew up” with who both followed different paths to me.

      Pat and Adam is an even closer comparison that also clearly distinguishes the different types of marketing you can do, hence I decided to focus on those two guys.

      Thanks again for sending through your question!

      Yaro

      • Josh

        Yaro,
        As many have said here, I really appreciate this post. I’ve tried blogging before, and just found that I wasn’t adept at the format of regular, short posts; I much prefer planning and writing longer pieces. I also prefer to focus on strategy and planning over regular interaction with an audience. So overall, this really resonated with me.
        In one of your comments you mentioned that you are beginning to believe that strengths assessment is the most important facet in business. I too have come to recognize this. I would be curious to hear your thoughts on this. Obviously, the simple answer is to just try everything until something “hits,” but do you have any thoughts or advice on the strengths discovery process?

        • Hmm, that is a tricky question Josh, especially because it can be such a personal process – almost like a right of passage every human being goes through.

          I do recall Rich Schefren teaching strengths alignment in one of his programs, but I can’t remember which. I think it was one of those things where you answer some questions then you have a bunch of data spat back at you based on your personality type.

          Roger Hamilton has something similar.

          Thinking back over my own process initially I was driven first only to make money and do so by avoiding certain things (like full time work).

          I basically went where the money was, and stayed wherever it seem to be close to stable.

          It wasn’t until I started writing though that I noticed I got positive feedback on something I personally created, which is a different kind of reinforcement mechanism.

          I think looking for flow states is one very powerful key to finding your strengths. You can’t get into flow doing something you don’t enjoy. The question is can you turn what you enjoy and get into flow with into an income stream.

          That might be yes if you like to write, or perform music, or cook, but some of these are easier to profit from than others.

          The best thing you can do is keep testing yourself to see what you like and build from there.

          Yaro

          • Josh

            Thanks! As a recent college graduate (USA) I’ve done a lot of that and have discovered a few things I’m pretty sure of. I think the challenge right now is identifying a business model that best utilizes those strengths. Which kind of leads me to a second, somewhat related, question. If you were to give some advice to someone who was just starting out and wanted to do what you do, but wanted to try some different things out by working for others first, what would you suggest as a first step in the process of both improving themselves for bringing value to an online marketer as well as how to find a good fit in the industry?

    • Hi Zsolt/Yaro,

      Zsolt, If you start a blog – and you do not have an existing fan base, it will be a couple of years of hard work (embracing social media along the way) before you make any substantial money.
      Remember too, Pat and Adam didn’t just start blogs with no prior expert status, they had both spent years creating a “success story” through the classic: write and a sell ebooks from niche-site model (pat had a big one-off seller and Adam ranked small niche sites and made a modest profit from each site; like Yaro said, he had 90 sites at one stage).
      From this position they then promoted their success stories on different marketing blogs included this one, gained followers to their new: “this is how I did it” blogs.

      Actually, you could also say that Yaro started his blog whilst making money from his proof-reading business (not a blog) and that “nerdy” card game website he had!

      For someone making money ($2000/month… after 2-3 years of dedicated – and sometimes a crazy amount of work) with no prior experience, listen to Yaro’s interview (podcast) with Patrick Meninga.

      I’m like you Zsolt, I like this model:
      Firstly you have to do your market research then you test…

      1. Paid traffic (yes good old paid traffic)
      2. Longish copy landing page with opt in
      3. A. Email marking (give away in emails 1 and 2)
      B. Offer product email 3-4 (3% purchase. My own numbers)
      C. Email 5-6 – 55%-off sale (4% of non buyers purchase)
      4. Continue a newsletter to subscribers (I get another 1% purchasing other products – mine and affiliate).

      5. Now, send subscribers over to your……. Blog. Continue writing content, but now you start blogging and gaining organic traffic – if you want, or you can just continue to grow your list and write emails – but that seems a waist.

      I am like Yaro in that I write and promote what I’m passionate about. It makes your writing much more authentic and you have no trouble writing about it (this is not Adam Shorts model).

      Variables:
      1. Landing page copy and sign-ups, a lot of testing to be done and a bit of money to spend (hundreds$ not thousands)
      2. Quality of paid traffic (facebook, google display/search, bing, banner ads, media buys). They convert differently through opt-in and through sales.

      3. Email marketing copy writing must be solid.
      4. Product being sold must be relevant, good and have good copy.

      Either way – you are going to have to write to your readers/subscribers a lot.

      Resources for this model:
      Listen to Andre Chaperon – Yaro did a podcast with him. He has a site called Tiny Little Business.com. He teaches this model 1-4 mentioned. # 5 > Blog is my addition. I’m building an authority site which was seeded with paid traffic.

      This model is more like an Eban Pagan model.
      A lot of the big boys (Jeff Walker, Eban’s business products, Brendon Burchard, Craig Ballantyne use affiliates to the drive traffic to landing page>email marketing>very good copy (video and text).

      There is a lot of testing to be done, but paid traffic is very scalable if you revenue is greater than your expenses.

      Hope this helps.

      • Great follow-up Anthony, thanks for chipping in.

        I am keen to head down the paid traffic path next year too, once my product funnel is set up.

        It’s funny how I see more and more traditional content marketers talk about paid traffic. I think it has something to do with Facebook ads. Because the ads are on a social platform they start to see it different to say a PPC ad on Google.

        Yaro

      • Zsolt

        Thanks very much for your detailed comment Anthony.

        Yes, the model you described makes a lot of sense to me.

        Paying for traffic can be a great leverage point, but one must know his numbers and continue testing. I think I’ll start with FB and maybe the Google Display Network and see how these work out. I don’t have a lot of money to put into advertising, so I’ll try to keep it small for the beginning and get a fairly good picture of conversion. If my funnel converts then I can always scale up traffic by buying more ads. If it does not convert so well, hopefully I’ll be able to see what point in the funnel the problem is by looking at the numbers.

        Thanks for recommending those interviews Anthony. I will checked them out for sure.

        Zsolt

  • Wow, Yaro! I have been pondering this exact issue. I market to educators and they are a group that does not respond well to hype or obvious sales tactics. I actually took my opt-in form off my website. But now I’m realizing that I can do both as long as I do so in a thoughtful and credible manner. I truly want to help teachers, but I’m not adverse to making as much money as possible along the way!

    • It’s all about finding the right mix for your audience. One thing you have to watch out for is having assumptions about what your audience like or do not like based on your own opinion. It’s hard not to do this, but sometimes you need to put something in front of them and see how it works.

      Beware the voice of the vocal minority too – conversion is what counts!

      Yaro

  • Great post! I do want to touch on the last part where you said an email converts better, if written write and if delivered to the right audience an email can definitely be a better sales tactic in the end. I guess my main question is in the end, it all depends on what you hope to do.
    If you are looking for link building…a blog is definitely the way to go but if you’re looking to make immediate leads, I suggest email.

  • Very informative post, I had never really thought about these as being different methods of marketing. I just considered them both internet marketing, but now I’m definitely going to look at my marketing method. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hey Yaro,

    I’ve been a long time fan, (Like following your blog off and on for the past 3 years). I stopped following as much when you had the guest posts, which you already have touched on why you have removed that element and I agree with that move. I normally don’t comment. But I love… love… LOVED this post. And I’m excited to see the future of your own business. This is an example of a post on why I followed 3 years ago (at least) and still check in on today. It’s the value you provide. Cheers!

    • Hi Dain,

      Glad to have you back – I’m curious, why did you come back, was it because of one of my email newsletters you received?

      Yaro

      • Hey Yaro,

        I just check in from time to time. You’re one of the few sites I visit on internet marketing. This one, 4HWW. I respect you as a marketer. I’m doing some tweaks from my blog so I look to yours as an example. I am considering a different template for popup domination and wanted to see what you were doing.

        Here’s some more information that may help you going forward. I started following you after watching your become a blogger free video series way back when. It’s from that series alone that I still check in on both you and gideon. Don’t know if that info helps or not as you move forward with your business, but thought i’d let you know.

  • Hey Yaro,

    The fact that you are a teacher, is quite evident through your style of approaching the issue. It was, indeed, a treat to read the piece. Well, when it comes to the different approaches of marketing, I think both the social media and the traditional one are equally effective; you just need to identify which is your forte and then apply that in the proper fashion.

    • I agree, the challenge is figuring out what is your forte when you are not exactly sure how each technique works. That’s why you need to “fail fast” as the saying goes, so you can ascertain where your strengths lie and what is working for you in your market.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Yaro

  • Nice post Yaro! I really liked the way you compared and contrasted between two different people in the same niche and their earnings.

  • Jeniffer Cooper

    Great Share Yaro! I personally feel new media marketing is really helpful. It is the social media which is considered a huge platform for adverting or spreading message across the whole nation.

  • Another great post Yaro! I agree with the majority of the points made, a tough task for me at the moment is converting blog visitors into email addresses and then converting blog content into email newsletter content.

  • Great post Yaro!
    Conversions versus content is a big one. Where do you draw the line? I guess everyone’s online project is different and there isn’t one magic pill for it all.

  • Yaro, you are a great teacher.
    While I have never read anything from most of the people you mention, I have heard of some of them and know they have made a pretty decent living doing what they do. At the same time I am a big believer in that you need to do it all, it least give everything that is out there a 100% effort, until you can make a call on what the value is. Every readership and every niche is different, you need to find what your audience relates to. My audience is different than Yaro’s, Adam’s, or Pat’s and while we may have minimal crossover, my audience is going to want it presented differently and wants me to connect with them in ways that might not be right for everyone.
    I use most of these methods talked about here, I have a different take on advertising, but that’s for reasons that wouldn’t relate to most people. Last year I was at the Christmas party for AOL and was talking to one of the top people there and as a publisher, they sure seemed interested in what I was seeing. It all comes down to this: What we are doing now isn’t what we will be doing next year, what we were doing 2 years ago isn’t what we are doing now. There is no secret formula or right answer outside of hard work.

  • Hi Yaro. This came in just as I found myself on the crossroads with my business. I guess that some niches are easier to run one way or another. Mine seems to be working better on the straightforward, old-school marketing + very little social interaction. With this approach I just worry about the quality of leads and service I provide to my readers and how much real feedback I am getting doing it this way. I feel I would have much better connection with my readers if I was more active on social media. Definitely something I’ll have to ponder on over the weekend. Thanks for your input on the topic.

    • Hi Latisha,

      I suppose you can never really be certain until you try. I suspect if you did everything it all helps, but realistically doing everything is a huge amount of work, way too much for one person.

      A little bit of 80/20 analysis certainly helps!

      Yaro

  • Just loved the spin on your article Yaro. I’ve tried both, starting out with Internet Marketing but never really being fond of it and so prefer more of the Pat Flynn style. That said, I’ve learned the hard way … social content publishers often want to be everywhere and that can kill your business when you’re starting out.

    My suggestion to anyone is take two at most and work them until they’re working for you but I also won’t dismiss some of the more traditional marketing elements such as list building since as you say Yaro, it’s easier to sell to a list than it is on social media. And I’ll even go as far as saying, Podcasts and Hangouts (as opposed to pure YouTube videos) work better than say Facebook or even G+. Don’t know the real science behind this, but it just seems that people who attend are more engaged and committed.

  • Yaro, what a great post and timely for me. I’ve been receiving your newsletters for quite some time but this one really touched me.

    I’ve been blogging for several years and have reached the burn out point. Over the past year I’ve been trying to ignite the old spark, but it just doesn’t want to ignite. My income has suffered as a result of it.

    Your post makes me realize I’ve been barking up the wrong tree. It’s time for me to sit back and take stock of what I really want to do and develop a strategy. Not being one for social media I’ll probably lean more towards the internet marketing model (although I’ve never been an IM either).

    On the internet anything is possible. It’s time for me to do the necessary research to find (or create) a vehicle that works for me. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

  • Alistair

    One method is highly social, one isn’t. It’s easy to hide behind a landing page and when you are hidden you get away with less than ideal business practices.

    I’ve bought many times from traditional internet markers and most times been left disappointed. I often think more time is spend crafting the landing page than the product.

    Or worse, when you buy the product and it’s only a sales pitch for the high ticket product.

    And yet, not everyone wants to be a celebrity blogger.

    The challange is operating as a conversion-focused internet marketer without turning to the dark side.

  • John Wilson

    Great thought provoking article, Thanks.

    Looking at the issue from a fairly narrow SEO perspective, if Google is now giving more weight to what use is made of social media, does it mean that IM people for who SEO matters need to take heed and give more emphasis to the use of social media?

  • Yaro, Excellent post.

    The thing that stuck out was focusing on cherry picking ideas that match two criteria: they work and they fit your personality. The comparison between Pat and Adam was excellent. Pat loves the publishing side, he wants to speak, he wants to write. That focus shows in how he’s built his business.

    There are several different combinations that will work. But I need to remind myself — to DO it. Action trumps everything.

    Thanks again for more inspiring content!

  • Jeff Jones

    Hi Yaro,
    As others have said, this article is perfectly timed as I am rebuilding my business and trying to listen to my heart to decide which direction or mix of elements I really enjoy using. To be honest, I was under the assumption that ALL internet marketing had morphed into a more social space. I honestly did not realize there were still any old-school IMers out there that hadn’t been in business already for years. Thanks for straightening me out.
    Jeff

  • Yaro-
    This is a really timely article and I appreciated the way you handled it. Personally, I have been struggling with this crossroads in internet culture and wondering which way to go. Thanks for your help along the way.
    Dawnya

  • Ben

    Hello Yaro,
    Thanks to Zsolt’s great question and your great post I think Internet Marketing would suit me better at this time than Social Media Marketing because IM targets specific market whereas SMM in my opinion is a throw it out there approach like cold calling.
    Ben

  • I am using opt-in form to populate my mailing list and then send them offers (mine + affiliates’). However, I am still struggling with hitting the right segment. My list members eagerly click on ads but they are not interested in buying stuff. Wondering how to a) attract the buyers or b) convert current users into buyers.

  • Hi Yaro,

    A really excellent article–a great example of pillar content :)

    Another angle to consider when evaluating the decision to use IM or social media approaches is how much you do (or don’t) like building up someone else’s property, aka “digital sharecropping.”

    Coppyblogger has a great article on this, if interested: http://www.copyblogger.com/digital-sharecropping/

    In addition to assessing their own strengths, bloggers should consider how much their social media activity builds up their business…and how much builds up the social media company’s. And what would happen to their blogger business model if their main social media outlet falls by the wayside a la MySpace?

  • Hi Yaro, I cannot thank you enough for this overview. I’ve been blogging for over a year, on the treadmill of constant Content Creation, traffic building while trying to learn about Social Media and Affiliate Marketing. I decided at the start that my first year would be learning how to blog and build traffic, but in the second year I would focus on making money.

    Since January, I have been trying to transition into making some money! But I am spending all day fixing website glitches (slow page loading took me 2 weeks to work out and fix), creating new Content, learning how to get established on Social Media, trying to learn everything that other people that I ‘follow’ are publishing, answering emails, etc etc.

    If I stop pumping my blog for a few days, my visitor numbers start to drop alarmingly – so I haven’t yet created my own Product as the basis for increasing my Email List.

    I know this is not what I should be doing, but I feel I cannot stop pumping my blog if I want to ever make any money – I never really understood the clear difference between these 2 marketing approaches until I read this article today. It has been a real Aha! moment for me.

    I was trying to do everything, and succeeding at very little – for 12 hours a day, 7days a week!

    Your Mastermind video was the very first thing I found on the web when I was thinking about starting a blog. You inspired me then, and you are still the one person I can rely on to tell me what I need to know.

    And…. the very best thing about all of your products and Content (and you) is: No hype – yes, you are my kind of guy when it comes to Blogging Expert. Thanks for everything you have taught me.

    And in particular, this article, which has taught me in 15 minutes, what it would have taken me (and was taking me) years to figure out for myself. Thanks again.

  • Hey Yaro,

    Thanks for the fantastic post and the clear explanation.

    I never really gave it a lot of thought, but the social marketing style can be a bit draining personally. I do like blogging, but trying to do all the other bits, FB, twitter and G+ etc drives me nuts at times. I’m probably following a bit of a hybrid model with a concentration on the ‘traditional internet marketer’ model.

    I think everyone who’s starting out needs to read this to decide what would work with their strengths, rather than pushing against it and struggling.

  • Yaro,

    You always put a ton of time and effort into your blog and I appreciate that. Thanks for bringing this topic to the forefront. It is so important to have a discussion about the state of our industry.

    To be honest, I am so excited about the new crop of internet marketers that are coming up. We are not interested in making money by telling others how to make money. Thinking people realize that is not real. A few have done well with it, but for most it is just a waste of time.

    There is a push back from us newbies in regards to the hyped up guru’s out there…they are the old guard. We want to see people being honest and real about how much work it is to start a business. It’s not about buying a software (affiliate link included, of course) or a super secret path membership site. Fewer and fewer people are buying into that mode of thinking.

    I would encourage you to continue introducing us to folks with real business that make money using their creative juices and hard work.

    Take care,

    Matt Sullivan

  • I definitely have a lot of respect for Adam Short and his methods, I would suggest people go with that approach as it is a bit more behind the scenes whereas with Pat it is very personality driven and most people could not carry that off.

  • […] look at guys like Pat Flynn and Adam Short who both teach niche marketing and cringe at the idea of going after a subject like some kind of […]

  • You raise such excellent points, with the most important that a one size fits all marketing strategy does not fit all. There are lots of one hit wonders selling themselves on a single component of the marketing tool box, perhaps its social media, only to a company that may need a comprehensive print, email, and direct mail campaign. What companies need is the brain behind the concept to pull it together. They need an old fashioned marketer with all the arsenal of tools available today, like you

  • For me, I can really answer the question of which is better. What works for Mr A might not work for Mr B and this is largely giving from what Zslot mentioned about himself.

    But I like the part you mentioned here “…you can model them. You can take what you like about what they do, implement their systems, use the same tools as they do and fuse that with your own unique way of doing things.”

    Knowing your comfort zone helps a lot in social content marketing.

    When you study carefully other people’s work, maybe 5 people in your niche, you are suppose to make something better this is because while studying internet marketers, they tend to tell you what have worked for them and what have not, comparing all 5 will help you come to a better conclusion. Adding your own unique idea now makes you better if and only if you are an intelligent marketer.

    Thanks Yaro for your extensive explanation. I have learnt some new approach from the article.

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